I have been repenting this week that I have started writing this blog again before my bliss, compassion and sense of humor have entirely returned or surpassed what they were in my jolly fat days before I started my diet in June 2010. I’ve lost over 65 pounds now and I’m getting close to my goal. But I have let myself become a bit short with social conservatives and have put out a little more heat than light. The provocations have been far from trivial but still, I have not been as empathic as I would like to be so that social conservatives would feel entirely heard and understood before I say anything to get them to see the ways in which their zeal actually is in an almost complete disconnect with their intentions to create the conditions for an honorable, well-behaved and prosperous society.
However, Robert Laurie is up to the job and today has this compassionate “Open Letter to Conservatives” in the Daily Caller that says everything I have been saying and more. It concludes as follows:
If you don’t like a person, for whatever reason, that’s fine. That’s your right as an American. If you’re a Christian and you feel that it’s wrong to live a certain way, by all means, live by that creed and pass those morals on to your children. Just remember, your religion also features free will as a central truth. You’re not supposed to control your neighbor’s life, and it isn’t your job to judge everyone else. Your desire to do so has drawn the political spotlight away from provable issues and drawn attention to nebulous moral debates.
The bad news for the moral majority is that there’s a younger breed of conservative headed their way. It’s the future of the movement they claim to cherish, and it’s far, far less concerned with social issues than the old guard. If we’re going to maintain the United States as a constitutionally limited republic, and roll back the transgressions of past decades, social conservatives are going to have let go of a few sacred cows.
It’s time to make a choice: fight for a truly limited government or lose that battle in a failing attempt to present morality as government business.
This is why I constantly draw the distinction between government as the realm of coercion and religion as the realm of persuasion. What is most chilling about religion when it leaves the realm of persuasion to take over the realm of coercion is that it would never do so if it were succeeding on its merits in the realm of persuasion.